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Differential Evolution for Multiobjective Portfolio Optimization


  • Thiemo Krink
  • Sandra Paterlini


Financial portfolio optimization is a challenging problem. First, the problem is multiobjective (i.e.: minimize risk and maximize profit) and the objective functions are often multimodal and non smooth (e.g.: value at risk). Second, managers have often to face real-world constraints, which are typically non-linear. Hence, conventional optimization techniques, such as quadratic programming, cannot be used. Stochastic search heuristic can be an attractive alternative. In this paper, we propose a new multiobjective algorithm for portfolio optimization: DEMPO - Differential Evolution for Multiobjective Portfolio Optimization. The main advantage of this new algorithm is its generality, i.e., the ability to tackle a portfolio optimization task as it is, without simplifications. Our empirical results show the capability of our approach of obtaining highly accurate results in very reasonable runtime, in comparison with quadratic programming and another state-of-art search heuristic, the so-called NSGA II.

Suggested Citation

  • Thiemo Krink & Sandra Paterlini, 2008. "Differential Evolution for Multiobjective Portfolio Optimization," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 021, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  • Handle: RePEc:mod:recent:021

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gunter Dueck & Peter Winker, 1992. "New concepts and algorithms for portfolio choice," Applied Stochastic Models and Data Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 8(3), pages 159-178, September.
    2. Ruhul Sarker & Hussein A. Abbass, 2004. "Differential Evolution For Solving Multiobjective Optimization Problems," Asia-Pacific Journal of Operational Research (APJOR), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 21(02), pages 225-240.
    3. M. Gilli & E. Kellezi & H. Hysi, 2006. "A Data-Driven Optimization Heuristic for Downside Risk Minimization," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 355, Society for Computational Economics.
    4. Toker Doganoglu & Christoph Hartz & Stefan Mittnik, 2007. "Portfolio optimization when risk factors are conditionally varying and heavy tailed," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 29(3), pages 333-354, May.
    5. R. Cont, 2001. "Empirical properties of asset returns: stylized facts and statistical issues," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 223-236.
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    More about this item


    Portfolio Optimization; Multiobjective; Real-world Constraints; Value at Risk; Expected Shortfall; Differential Evolution;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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